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Paytm tie-up with HDFC bank
- Paytm and HDFC Bank announced a strategic partnership to build comprehensive solutions across payment gateway, point of sale machines, and credit products.
- It would accelerate digital transformation in semi-urban and rural India while bringing more people into formal banking channels.
- The Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) is the largest private sector bank in India.
Zydus gets USFDA nod for arthritis drug
- Drug firm Zydus Cadila has received final approval from the US health regulator US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market Tofacitinib extended-release tablets, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
- Zydus was the first abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) filer on Tofacitinib extended-release tablets 22 mg and holds 180-day exclusivity on this strength.
MIB recognises NBF’s self-regulatory body
- The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has officially recognized the News Broadcasters Federation’s (NBF) self-regulatory body ‘Professional News Broadcasters Standards Authority’.
- It makes NBF the only institution to get accreditation from the government of India.
- The NBF channels presently include 24News, IND 24, Republic Bharat, Samay Bihar, TV5 Kannada, among others.
NCL: First PSU to vaccinate its workforce
- Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL) has become the first PSU in the country which has got all its employees and their family members vaccinated for COVID-19.
- NCL is a Singrauli-based mini Ratna company of government operating with 10 highly mechanized opencast coal mines and accounts for 15 percent of national coal production.
N S Vishwanathan committee report released
- The Expert Committee on Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks under the chairmanship of N S Vishwanathan has suggested significant changes related to the UCBs sector.
- It has suggested a four-tier structure for the urban cooperative banks (UCBs).
- It has been suggested that the minimum Capital to Risk-Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) for UCBs could vary from 9 percent to 15 percent.
The US give full approval to the Pfizer vaccine
- The US on 23 August 2021 gave full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.
- The Pfizer shot became the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine to move from the emergency use authorization (EUA) phase to the fully approved stage.
- Full approval means Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine meets the same “very high standards required of all the approved vaccines.
FDI rise to $12.1bln in May
- Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on 23 August 2021 informed that foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country jumped to USD 12.1 billion in May 2021.
- India has received the highest ever FDI inflow in 2020-21. It surged by 10 percent to USD 81.72 billion.
- The government has also targeted to achieve exports target of USD 400 billion in 2021-22.
‘Yuktdhara’ launched for geospatial planning
- The Government of India launched a new geospatial planning portal ‘Yuktdhara’.
- It would help in facilitating new MGNREGA assets using remote sensing and geographic information system-based data.
- The portal would serve as a repository of geotags created under national rural development programmes i.e. MGNREGA, Integrated Watershed Management Programme, Per Drop More Crop programme, etc.
IIT-M develop a motorised wheelchair vehicle
- Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, have developed an indigenous motorized wheelchair battery-operated vehicle ‘NeoBolt’.
- It can be used not only on roads but also in uneven terrain regions.
- NeoBolt, fitted with a lithium-ion battery, can travel up to 25 km per charge at a maximum speed of 25 kmph.
- The vehicle has been launched through a start-up ‘NeoMotion’.
‘Monk in a Merc’ book launched
- Late Dr. Ashok Panagariya’s book ‘Monk in a Merc’ was posthumously launched in a virtual event on 23 August 2021.
- The book addresses the existential questions while acting as, what can literally be termed a guidebook to peace and happiness from a man of science and medicine.
- Ashok has also been conferred with the title of Padma Shri and awarded the BC Roy medal, the highest medical honour.
Biography of Kapil Sharma launched
- Ajitabha Bose has written a biography on the life journey of Kapil Sharma.
- The book’s name is The Kapil Sharma Story.
- The foreword of the book has been written by Dharmendra.
- Ajitabha has already been featured in the Limca Book of Records for writing India’s smallest love-story book.
- Ajitabha is also known as the ‘king of pocket books’.
Russia to deliver stealth frigate by mid-2023
- The first of two additional Krivak class stealth frigates being built by Russia is expected to be delivered to India in the middle of 2023.
- In October 2016, India and Russia signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for four Krivak or Talwar class stealth frigates.
- Two will be procured directly from Russia and two will be built by the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).
Moplah martyrs to be removed from a dictionary
- Malabar Rebellion leaders Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji, Ali Musaliar, and 387 other “Moplah martyrs” will be removed from the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle.
- A three-member panel has recommended the deletion.
- It felt that the 1921 rebellion was never part of the independence struggle but a fundamentalist movement focused on religious conversion.
Indian and Philippine Navy conduct exercise
- Two ships of the Indian Navy, namely INS Ranvijay and INS Kora carried out a Maritime Partnership Exercise with BRP Antonio Luna of the Philippine Navy on 23 August 2021 in the West Philippine Sea.
- The Indian naval ships are currently deployed to the Western Pacific with an aim to strengthen maritime security collaboration with partner nations.
CCI imposes Rs 200 crore penalty on Maruti
- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has passed a final order against Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) for indulging in anti-competitive conduct of Resale Price Maintenance (RPM).
- It has imposed a penalty of ₹200 crore upon MSIL.
- MSIL had an agreement with its dealers whereby the dealers were restrained from offering discounts to the customers beyond those prescribed by MSIL.
Major initiatives of NEP 2020 to be launched
- The Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education has prepared a booklet on one-year achievements of the NEP Implementation.
- The booklet will be launched virtually by the Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan on 24 August 2021.
- In addition to the booklet, some major NEP 2020 initiatives will also be launched which include: NIPUN Bharat FLN tools.
India, ADB sign $500 million loan
- The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $500 million loan to expand the metro rail network in Bengaluru.
- The project will construct two new metro lines.
- An additional $2 million technical assistance grant from ADB will help the state government formulate urban development plans and their implementing frameworks.
North Korea develops PCR equipment
- North Korea has developed its own Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) equipment to conduct coronavirus tests.
- Technicians at the State Academy of Sciences have developed the PCR system.
- The country has also ramped up its battle against the virus with the Delta and Lambda variants spreading rapidly worldwide.
Taiwan rolls out its 1st COVID vaccine Medigen
- Taiwan has rolled out its first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine Medigen.
- Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen received her first dose, which was made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp.
- The recombinant protein vaccine has been developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health in the United States, and the government has ordered 5 million doses for now.
Army promotes 5 women officers to Colonel rank
- The Indian Army has cleared the way for the promotion of 5 women officers to Colonel rank.
- This is the 1st time that women officers serving with the Corps of Signals, Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers and the Corps of Engineers have been approved to the rank.
- They are Lt Col Sangeeta Sardana, Lt Col Sonia Anand, Lt Col Navneet Duggal, Lt Col Reenu Khanna, and Lt Col Ritcha Sagar.
AB Volvo buys Chinese JMC Heavy-Duty Vehicle
- AB Volvo has signed a deal to buy Chinese JMC Heavy Duty Vehicle Co. Ltd. for about 1.1 billion Swedish crowns ($125.7 million).
- JMC is a subsidiary of Jiangling Motors Co. Ltd.
- The acquired business includes a manufacturing site in Taiyuan, China.
- The plant will have the capacity for annual production of 15,000 Volvo trucks within a few years, with potential to increase capacity further.
Anshuman Goenka: Head of IIFL WAM
- IIFL Wealth and Asset Management has appointed Anshuman Goenka as the head of the private equity business.
- Goenka has earlier worked with Investcorp, where he led investments in healthcare and financial services.
- He has also worked at Standard Chartered PE and Baer Capital Partners.
- Karan Bhagat is the Founder, MD and CEO at IIFL WAM.
Visa acquires NFT by CryptoPunk
- Visa, has entered the NFT-commerce space after it acquired a digital collectable called CryptoPunk 7610 for 49.5 ether or around $150,000 in August 2021.
- NFT or non-fungible tokens are a way to represent ownership of a digital good, like an image, video, or piece of text, while metaverse refers to a convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space.
Nasscom releases a ‘Cloud Skills’ report
- India can become the world’s second-largest cloud talent hub.
- In association with Draup, Nasscom has said in a report that India currently ranks third globally with an installed talent pool of 608,000 (FY2021) cloud professionals.
- By 2025, India would have an estimated 1.4-1.5 million cloud professionals (baseline growth).
- The report is titled ‘Cloud Skills: Powering India’s Digital DNA’.
Tokyo Paralympics to begin from 24 August
- 54 athletes will represent India at Tokyo Paralympics beginning 24 August 2021.
- Indian athletes will compete in 9 sports disciplines including archery, athletics (track and field), badminton, swimming, weightlifting among others.
- This is the biggest-ever contingent India has sent to any Paralympics.
- All 54 athletes are part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) scheme.
The US issues the highest number of student visas
- The United States issued the highest number of visas – over 55,000 – to Indian students for 2021.
- New international student enrollment in the United States dropped 43% in 2020.
- The number of new students who actually made it onto campus in person declined by 72%, according to an enrollment survey by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
NSG commandos undertake mock drills
- Multiple cities in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi are hosting synchronized commando drills.
- This is a part of a national mock exercise being carried out by the counter-terrorist force NSG.
- The third edition of the week-long annual exercise called ‘Gandiv’ has already been launched at these locations by the National Security Guard (NSG).
- It is being held from 22-28 Aug’21.
World Water Week 2021: 23-27 August 2021
- The World Water Week is being observed from 23-27 August 2021.
- It is an annual event organized by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) since 1991.
- It addresses the global water issues and related concerns of international development.
- The theme for the year 2021 is ‘Building Resilience Faster’.
Yordenis Ugas retains WBA Welterweight Crown
- Yordenis Ugas retained his WBA welterweight title by defeating Manny Pacquiao in August 2021.
- Two judges scored it 116-112 for Ugas, and a third had it 115-113.
- Pacquiao is the only man in boxing history to hold world titles in eight different divisions and is one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Olympian SS Hakim passes away
- Syed Shahid Hakim, former India footballer and member of the last national team that played in the 1960 Rome Olympics, passed away in August 2021.
- Hakim, a Dronacharya Awardee, has also been an assistant coach to the late PK Banerjee during the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.
- He has been a FIFA badge holder international referee.
Day Commemorating Victims of Acts of Violence
- The International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief is observed on August 22 every year.
- It emphasizes the significance of aiding victims of religious persecution as part of the UN’s efforts to promote Human Rights related to religious or belief freedom.
- It was first made official in 2019.
Global Manufacturing Risk Index
- India has emerged as the second most sought-after manufacturing destination across the world.
- According to Cushman and Wakefield’s 2021 Global Manufacturing Risk Index, India has surpassed the US as the world’s second most desired manufacturing hub.
- Reforms to both land and labor laws are critical to India’s success as a global manufacturing location.
Delhi University to implement NEP from 2022-23
- The Delhi University has decided to implement the National Education Policy from 2022-23.
- The Standing Committee on Academic Matters has approved the implementation of the policy from 2022-23, the four-year undergraduate programme, and the multiple entries and exit options for students.
- The university had formed a 42-member high-powered committee to look into the NEP’s implementation.
Vedanta makes gas discovery in Gujarat
- Vedanta has made a natural gas discovery in a block in Gujarat that it had won in the open acreage licensing policy (OALP) round.
- It had notified the DGH and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on August 23, 2021, of a gas and condensate discovery [named ‘Jaya’] in its exploratory well Jaya1.
- It was drilled in OALP Block in Bharuch District of Gujarat.
HarperCollins announces new book
- HarperCollins has announced the publication of Tanushree Podder’s upcoming book ‘An Invitation to Die: A Colonel Acharya Mystery’.
- It will be released on 25th August 2021.
- HarperCollins India has been awarded the Publisher of the Year Award three times: at Publishing Next in 2015, and Tata Literature Live! in 2016 and 2018.
Adani group incorporates PLR Systems
- The Adani group is incorporating a new company — PLR Systems (India).
- It will manufacture defense and security equipment for supporting the Indian Armed Forces.
- PLR Systems will have an authorized share capital of Rs1,00,000 and a paid-up share capital also of ₹1,00,000.
- It has been registered with the Registrar of Companies, Gujarat at Ahmedabad on 2 August 2021.
RBI proposes a 4-tier structure
- An RBI committee under the chairmanship of former RBI deputy governor N.S. Vishwanathan has proposed a four-tier structure for urban cooperative banks.
- In its report released on 23 August 2021, the committee said tier-3 urban cooperative banks with deposits of ₹1,000 crores to ₹10,000 crores must function like SFBs if they meet a capital adequacy ratio of 15%.
S-400 missile system to soon reach India
- Russia will begin to deliver surface-to-air missile defense system (SAM) S-400 to India by end of the year 2021.
- At the present, Indian military personnel training is underway in operating the S-400.
- In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5.43 billion deal with Russia for five S-400 regiments.
Walmart to launch delivery service
- Walmart will start commercializing its delivery service to deliver other retailers’ products directly to their customers’ homes as fast as just a few hours.
- It will be using contract workers, autonomous vehicles, and even drones.
- The service, GoLocal, has already signed a number of contractual agreements with national and small business clients.
K’taka to provide cancer medicines at discount
- Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has informed that society would be set up to provide medicines for cancer treatment at concessional rates.
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and government funds would be used for developing medicine to treat cancer.
- He announced this while inaugurating the OPD block at the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology.